Sucre Spanish School – Guide to learning Spanish in Sucre, Bolivia

Sunset over Sucre city from our hostel and spanish school

Sucre is the capital of Bolivia and is one of the most visited cities in the country. For many, this cute colonial city becomes the ultimate place to learn Spanish at one of the many Sucre Spanish Schools.

Like you, I too came to Sucre to join one of the many Sucre Spanish Schools in hopes to fine-tune and learn my chosen second language.

As it turns out, it was a great success. In two weeks I went from speaking terrible “Spanglish” to now being able to have simple conversations.

Learning Spanish at a school in Sucre was one of the best decisions I made during my trip. Not only did travel become much easier but being able to communicate even a little bit better opened up so many more opportunities and friendships.

Here’s I think you’ll find helpful if you’re thinking about learning Spanish in Sucre, Bolivia! From what to expect from Spanish lessons to choosing a school to other fun things to do in Sucre, here’s everything you need to know about attending a Sucre Spanish school!

About Sucre, Bolivia

Plaza 25th de Mayo in Sucre, Bolivia
Plaza 25th de Mayo Sucre, Bolivia

Sucre is a beautiful city located in the highlands of Bolivia. The city itself sits at an elevation of 2,810 meters (9,200 feet) above sea level. Although not that high in altitude, you will still notice the thin air on your lungs when wandering the city.

For visitors, you’ll spend most of your time in what I call the “Historic Center” of Sucre. This part of the city is centered around the Plaza 25th de Mayo. Here you’ll find all of the colonial buildings and churches.

The Historic Center is generally the safest part of the city. Although Sucre is not a dangerous city overall, you still need to be aware of your surroundings as petty crime such as pickpocketing can be a problem.

In the Historic Center, you have everything you need to enjoy your stay and learn Spanish. There are plenty of shops, markets, restaurants, and bars. In fact, Sucre is one of the top places to learn Spanish in South America because the city is not only cheap but also very livable for visiting tourists.

There is a huge population of travelers learning Spanish in Sucre. Because people generally stay longer, you can form really good friendships through your Sucre Spanish School. Overall, Sucre is a great place to visit and learn Spanish on an extended stay!

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Learning Spanish in Sucre

Bailey eats a salad in Sucre, Bolivia
Having a break from Spanish lessons!

Learning Spanish in Sucre is really easy. Not the Spanish part, but finding a great (and cheap!) place to learn. Most Spanish schools in Sucre are either hotels/hostels as well as schools. This makes learning Spanish in Sucre really convenient and affordable as hostels/hotels usually have cheaper pricing.

For the average private Spanish lesson in Sucre you can expect to pay around $6 USD per hour. Of course, rates are cheaper for groups, but honestly not by much. In fact, group lessons are sometimes no more than $1 USD less an hour.

When you learn Spanish in Sucre you’ll be able to choose your own class hours. This means you can learn in the morning or afternoon and do as little or an many hours as you’d like. You can also choose the number of days per week in which you want to attend Spanish classes. You can really make your own schedule and this flexibility makes learning Spanish in Sucre so much easier than other places in South America.

Lessons are also cheaper if you book a lot. Many schools have cheaper rates if you book over 20 hours of lessons. For someone staying for 2 weeks, this should be easy to do.

When you get paired with a teacher in Sucre they will stick with you the entire time (unless you choose to change.) This gives you a greater chance at learning as your teacher will begin to learn how you best teach you.

How much Spanish is too much?

Bailey reading a Spanish book to practice learning in Sucre, Bolivia
Bailey reading a Spanish book to practice learning in Sucre, Bolivia

This is one of the most important things to get right when it comes to learning Spanish in Sucre. How much time do you want to spend learning Spanish? To be honest though, it will all come down to you.

I originally chose to do 4 hours a day 5 days a week. This was way too much for me and I cut my hours down to 2 a day.

The reason? Well, surprisingly there is a lot of homework you need to do and practice you can do in your own time. So, it’s not always the time you spend with the teacher that helps the most but how much you practice after class.  

Also, in class you’re doing the learning and your teacher explains phrases and rules to you. It’s after class where you’ll memorize them that helps the most for your next class. So, if you don’t give yourself time to practice then you’ll show up to your next class behind.

Of course, this all depends on the person. If you’re a self-confessed study nerd (like Bailey) you may find 4 hours fine, but if you’re like me and struggle with studying, less is more.

My personal recommendation is to do fewer hours a day over more days. Instead of doing 4 hours a day 5 days a week, do 2 hours a day 6 or 7 days a week. Although you’ll do fewer hours overall, having that lesson every day really helps keep you on track.

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How much Spanish did I learn in two weeks?

Buying a fresh orange juice from a street seller in Sucre, Bolivia
Fresh juice got me through the long days learning Spanish

Two weeks of Sucre Spanish School improved my Spanish a lot. Before I knew only a few words and phrases and could not understand other people.

After, I could pretty much ask for whatever I wanted, read signs and menus, and understand basic conversations.

I still can’t have a full conversation with a local about politics or anything complicated, but I am definitely able to get around and speak to people which has made my days traveling much less stressful.

If you are planning a South America trip don’t be as naive as me and assume it’ll be like South East Asia or Europe. In South America, knowing some basic Spanish is very important and in some cases, necessary for travel.

Instead, I would highly recommend studying Spanish before even attempting the trip. And then use a Spanish school in Sucre later as the perfect place to fine-tune your Spanish and learn from a local!

Spanish Schools in Sucre

A book of spanish Phrases at a school in Sucre, Bolivia
A book of Spanish Phrases at a school in Sucre, Bolivia

As you can imagine, there are a lot of different Spanish Schools in Sucre. I have not tried them all but below are a few of the most highly rated and the school I chose!

1. Colors Hostel

Colors Hostel Sucre is a very popular Spanish school in Sucre which is also a hostel. Although a social place to meet other travelers, it’s not a party hostel so you can still get a good night’s rest. The location is perfect and really close to the main plaza and shops.

Spanish lessons can be done through the hostel on site and cost $6 USD per hour for private lessons, and $5 USD for groups.

You can check availability on Booking.com and Hostelworld

2. Kultur Berlin

Kultur Berlin is Sucre’s most popular party Spanish school and hostel. It is what I would call a “flashpackers hostel” and a really good option for those on a budget that don;t want to sacrifice comfort. Just be aware tat the hostel is very social and has a party vibe so learning may be difficult.

Kultur Berlin actually have an entire Spanish school called Sucre Spanish School (how original) located around the corner from the hostel. Lessons are $6.50 USD per hour for private and $5.20 for groups.

You can check availability on Booking.com and Hostelworld

3. Spanish Friends

Spanish Friends was the Spanish school I chose in Sucre. I loved the atmosphere of the place and it was really friendly. Although the facilities were not the greatest, we still had a great time learning and meeting other travelers. They also have a communal kitchen which was rare to find in Sucre!

Spanish classes at Spanish Friends were $6 USD for private and $5 USD for groups.  

You can check availability on Booking.com and Hostelworld

4. Me Gusta Spanish School

If you would like to stay at a hotel or hostel that doesn’t offer Spanish lessons then you can always learn at Me Gusta Spanish School. The school is located in the Historic Center and you can choose to learn at the school or at your hotel. They also offer a homestay with the family if you would like.

Classes here are $6.50 USD per hour for private lessons.

Things to do in Sucre while you learn Spanish

1. Visit the Cal Orck’o dinosaur footprints at Parque Cretácico

Bailey stands next to the Cal Orck'o dinosaur footprints in Sucre
Standing right next to giant footprints

Parque Cretacico was my favorite thing I did in Sucre, Bolivia. This cool museum is all about Bolivia’s ancient past and is home to the Cal Orck’o dinosaur footprints.

These impressive footprints are spread across a huge rock wall. On a tour to the museum you can put on a hard hat and head down to the footprints to get a closer look.

The museum is also home to other exhibitions that include real life-sized models of dinosaurs. You can enter the park at any time but the tours to see the footprints are every day at 12 noon and 1 pm except Sunday. The entrance to the park is $4.50 USD and you can get there by public bus from Sucre.

You only need a couple of hours to check out these footprints. So, after your morning Spanish lessons in Sucre, you can head here for a bit of a break!

2. Enjoy the view at La Recoleta

The view at sunset from La Recoleta
The view at sunset from La Recoleta

La Recoleta is an old monastery that is now the best place in the city to enjoy a magical sunset. At the top, there is a restaurant called Café Gourmet Mirador. The café is very busy at sunset but during the day you can usually get a table.

From the café, the views are magnificent and the food is delicious!

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3. Explore Mercado Central

Fruit juice stand at Mercado Central
Fruit juice stand at Mercado Central

Mercado Central is Sucre’s main market and a great place to check out while you learn Spanish in Sucre. At the market, you can get a range of fruits, vegetables, meats, and bread. The market is super cheap and the produce is fresh.

My favorite thing about Mercado Central though was the fresh fruit juices. For around $1 USD you can get a fully loaded juice that really helps keep your brain fueled for learning Spanish!

4. Visit one of the many museums in Sucre

Statue of Simon Bolivar at the Casa de la Libertad
Statue of Simon Bolivar at the Casa de la Libertad

Being the capital of Bolivia, there are lots of museums in Sucre. To be honest, museums aren’t my thing but there are some interesting ones in Sucre. Some of the best in the city include the Museo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore, Casa de la Libertad, and the Museo del Tesoro.  

5. Climb the San Felipe de Neri convent

San Felipe de Neri convent in Sucre, Bolivia
San Felipe de Neri convent in Sucre, Bolivia

Right near the main plaza is the San Felipe de Neri convent. Although the building isn’t a major attraction I love the view from the top. It costs only 10B ($1.50 USD) to climb to the top and the views of the old city are magnificent.

I highly recommend going as late as possible, however, it is only open from 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm.

6. Visit Mercado Tarabuco

Hand woven fabrics at Mercado Tarabuco
Hand woven fabrics at Mercado Tarabuco

Tarabuco is a small town 65 kilometers from Sucre. This small town is home to one of the most authentic and unique Bolivian markets in the country. Mercado Tarabuco is a really neat place to visit and a must when staying in Sucre.

At the market, you can find all sorts of things from crafts, food and even large amounts of coca leaves for sale. Honestly, the list is endless.

The markets are on every Sunday and thousands of people from all over the region come here to buy goods and services. Be sure to arrive in the morning as this is the busiest time of the market and when you’ll get the best experience. Visiting the Tarabuco Market is a great way to enjoy some of Bolivia’s indigenous culture.

Where to Stay in Sucre, Bolivia

Viejo Olivo B&B, Sucre, Bolivia
Viejo Olivo B&B, Sucre, Bolivia

Other than the schools/hostels mentioned above, there are some great hostels and hotels in Sucre you can stay at and visit one of the many Spanish schools nearby.

Villa Oropeza Hostel

This is one of the top-rated hostels in Sucre. There are plenty of common areas (great for studying) as well as a nice garden. The hostel is cheap, centrally located and comes with amazing reviews.

You can book on Booking.com or Hostelworld.

Viejo Olivo B&B

For those who want a more comfortable stay, this great B&B is the perfect option. The rooms are very nice and large, it has comfortable beds, great service, and a kitchen for guest use. The room rate also includes an amazing breakfast.

You can book your stay on Booking.com.

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Before you go…

Bailey smiles at the camera at  Cal Orck'o dinosaur footprints in Sucre, Bolivia
Thanks for reading!

Thank you so much for reading our guide to learning Spanish in Sucre, Bolivia. We really hope this travel guide has helped plan your upcoming trip.

If you would like to know more or have any questions, just leave them below and I will get back to you!

Also if you loved this travel guide jump over and check out all our other Bolivia travel guides here or these related articles below!

5 crazy things to do in La Paz, Bolivia

10 reasons to visit Samaipata, Bolivia

15 things you NEED to know before visiting the Salt Flats of Bolivia

-Bailey


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